The Sum-Africa project, which is providing smallholder farmers in Uganda with satellite-based drought index insurance, has set higher targets for 2019. The project, which is supported by the G4AW program of Netherlands Space Office (NSO) targets smallholder farmers who are increasingly becoming vulnerable to risks associated with changing weather patterns.
The National Development Plan (NDP) acknowledges the potential of agro-processing-adding value to agricultural products to create better paying off-farm jobs, improve food security, increase incomes, poverty alleviation and also attain the long term vision to become a middle income country. For successful implementation of this agenda, agricultural production becomes critical to ensure consistent supply of agro-based raw materials required by agro-processing industries.
At least two out of every ten cows in Kaabong district are infected with Nagana, a disease caused by tsetse flies. The new findings follow an infestation of tsetse flies in the district. Dr. Branda Logwe, the Kaabong District Veterinary Officer, says the Tsetse flies spread to the district from the sub counties neighboring Kidepo National Game Park. He says the flies spread to the district through wildlife animals that have been straying from the game park.
As vanilla prices continue to soar in Sironko and surrounding districts in Bugisu Sub-region, farmers are reeling in frustration due to rampant theft. The farmers have now resorted to hiring security guards, each at Shs300,000 per month to protect their gardens Farmers say because of the soaring vanilla prices, thieves harvest immature beans. Currently, a kilogramme of vanilla costs Shs300,000, up from Shs200,000 last year.
A swarm of strange green worms are ravaging hundreds of potato gardens in the districts of Bukedea and Kumi, leaving the sweet food crop with a bitter rather than its known sweet taste. Farmers say they first saw the worms three weeks ago. They have since eaten up all the potato leaves and are now turning to the potato tubers in the areas of Kolir, Malera, Aloet, Kachumbala, Kidogole, Kamutur and Kanyum, Ongino, and Aterai in Kumi district.
Uganda’s agriculture sector has been associated with many risks – unstable prices, drought, pests and diseases – thus hampering its growth. This prompted the government to unveil a Shs5bn Agriculture Insurance Premium Subsidy Scheme last year for an initial five-year period in partnership with a consortium of 10 insurance firms.
A slow sensitisation drive is affecting uptake of agricultural insurance in Uganda, the Agro Consortium has revealed. Sensitisation is our challenge because we lack the kind of resources we need to do mass awareness. What we have done so far has been funded by the government but it is not enough," Agro Consortium technical manager Muntaradzi Daka, told journalists early this week at Uganda Insurers' Association (UIA) offices in Kampala.
The Uganda Agriculture Insurance Scheme (UAIS), formed through a public-private partnership, was meant to provide insurance cover for farmers’ crops and animals but insurers claim the farmers, especially small-holder ones, have been slow to seize the opportunity as natural calamities like drought and pests destroy their farms.
Introduction of an agriculture insurance scheme is one of the key priorities in the next financial year, finance minister, Matia Kasaija has announced. The scheme is used in many countries to cushion farmers from calamities such as drought or floods and ensure that they have resources to produce during next season.
An outbreak of the fall armyworm caterpillar in several southern African nations has raised an alarm, with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warning they pose “a huge threat to food security”. Uganda was the most recent country where the pest was found. Uganda’s Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja said the presence of the innocuous looking but hugely destructive brown caterpillar had been confirmed in over 20 districts of the country.
The National Agriculture Research Laboratories (NARL) Kawanda have announced plans to make use of farmer groups and platforms across the country to promote bacterial wilt resistant bananas that have been enhanced with Vitamin A. The varieties include Nakitembe and Kiwangaazi. This was revealed by Dr.Wilberforce Tushmereire, director of the NARL Kawanda on Friday, while meeting the state minister for cooperatives, Fredrick Gume Ngobi.
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